Yankees’ four-homer power surge against A’s offers a big respite

The Yankees are celebrating after a home run against the Athletics on May 8, 2023, at Yankee Stadium.

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Despite not resembling the typical Yankees team known for its offensive prowess, the current New York squad managed to hit like the legendary Bronx Bombers for one evening.

The Yankees lineup had no Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton. However, the second-rung offensive heroes jumped back to life with four massive home runs, which helped their team trounce the Oakland Athletics 7-2 in front of 33,011 fans at Yankee Stadium.

Yankees offense sparkled amid injuries

“That’s really nice,” a jubiliant manager Aaron Boone told. “I thought we had a pretty good approach today. To get a couple big swings was good and definitely needs to be part of our game.”

Even though the Yankees were in last place and had lost six of their last nine games, playing the worst team in Major League Baseball (MLB), the Athletics, was not a walkover. The game went scoreless until the fifth inning when Oswaldo Cabrera‘s 339-foot fly ball gave the Yankees a lead. The ball left the bat at 89 miles per hour and landed in the third row of seats just inside the foul pole, good for two runs in all but three Major League Baseball stadiums.

“Absolutely I didn’t know that ball was gone,”  Cabrera said of his initial response to being hit. “It was not that hard, but I’m glad that ball’s gone.”

Two runs in the top of the sixth from the Athletics (8-28) were answered by a solo homer from Gleyber Torres and another two-run homer for the Yankees came from DJ LeMahieu.

The Yankees scored two more runs in the seventh inning thanks to Aaron Hicks’ first home run of the season. Hicks said that getting on the board felt good and that he was trying to be a little more patient, not force things, and let things happen. He also mentioned that he was trying to stay within the strike zone and hit the ball hard when he got a good pitch to hit.

Hicks earned his fourth start in a week, and his first against a right-handed starter, and he took advantage by launching a 393-foot home run into the right-field bleachers. The left fielder, who was booed after a flyout earlier in the game, was surrounded by his teammates as he hit a home run.

Aaron Hicks of the Yankees hit his season's first home run on May 8, 2023, at Yankee Stadium against Oakland.

A big relief for the Yankees

According to manager Aaron Boone, Hicks never ran away from the adversity and he had been working to improve behind the scenes, doing extra hitting and work to make things happen. He acknowledged that none of this had been easy, but the player had stood there and faced it every day, continuing to grind. Boone gave credit to him for his perseverance.

“We’re talking about a guy that hasn’t run from any of this [adversity],” Boone said. “He has been working his tail off behind the scenes, whether it’s extra hitting or extra work. He’s trying to make it happen. None of this, I’m sure, has been easy, but he’s stood there and faced it every day. Credit to him for continuing to grind.”

For five innings, Nestor Cortes kept the opposition from scoring by avoiding any further damage. But the unsung hero was Ian Hamilton, who kept the score at 5-2 by avoiding any damage during Ron Marinaccio’s two-on, no-out jam in the seventh inning.

In Cortes’ words, he had been unable to put guys away and had left a lot of pitches over the plate. He also mentioned that it was good when the team scored seven runs in a game and the bullpen was able to hold the lead.

Former Yankees starter JP Sears, who was traded to the Athletics in August, allowed just one hit in four innings of work. Leading off the bottom of the fifth, Harrison Bader tripled into the gap in left-center field, providing a much-needed boost when he returned from the injured list on May 2.

The light bats at the bottom of the Yankees’ injury-ravaged lineup caused some fans at the stadium to worry, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s lined out-didn’t help calm their nerves. But the home runs started coming down like a banner of welcome for Aaron Judge, who is set to return to the lineup on Tuesday after missing time with a hip issue.

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